OKC Thunder is the perfect rehab centre for Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel OKC Thunder Player Preview (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel OKC Thunder Player Preview (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Modern tragedy:

Noel rejected the Mavericks’ offer, in anticipation of receiving a better offer, either from the Mavs or from the rest of the league. But. no offer came. Noel fired his agent and signed with super agent Rich Paul (aka Lebron’s agent) of Klutch Sports. This, on the condition Noel would enter unrestricted free agency so Paul could work his magic.

Except that didn’t work out either. Noel’s final season with the Mavs was a disaster. He averaged a career-low 15.7 minutes per game (MPG) over 30 games, and barely coughed up four points per game (PPG). In the end, his hot-dog fiasco all but ended any hopes of returning to the team.

As the frenzy of free agency took off, Noel’s descent was so thorough the market relegated him as a bargain pickup option. Teams were no longer sold on the promise of potential. Moreover, rumors of locker room problems all but reduced his suitors to the WizardsLakersPelicans and of course, the Thunder.

OKC Thunder take risk – hope for reward:

When news broke Sam Presti signed Noel to a two-year minimum deal, the focus naturally turned to Presti and his offseason genius. But, the fact Noel’s deal included a player option on the second year indicates a more subtle narrative.

Noel coming to the OKC Thunder wasn’t just about adding pieces to their bigger puzzle. Rather, the big man chose the Thunder because he knew how good a fit he would be with Russell Westbrook and gang.

This article, utilizes game film to explain why the Thunder are the perfect fit to not just remind the league of his well-established strengths, but also unlock Noel’s hidden potential.